You can ask for anything.
Want to review content before it’s published? You can ask.
Want media to hold off on a story until you’re ready for the information to be released? You can ask.
You can ask for anything. As I tell students, “they can’t eat you.” What’s the worst thing that can happen when you make a request? You get told “no” and life goes on.
It’s when the request becomes a rights-limiting demand that I become concerned. When prior review is demanded, information is withheld and censorship becomes accepted—that’s what makes my blood boil.
The ethics of such requests is the subject of this week’s ethics question for my media law and ethics class.
Students were asked specifically to consider a case last month where the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department asked the news media to stop tweeting about the manhunt for fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner.
“The sheriff has asked all members of the press to stop tweeting immediately. It is hindering officer safety. #Dorner,” tweeted the Sheriff’s Department handle, @sbcountyda.
I asked students to take a stance on the question:
“Should reporters have stopped live tweeting, as requested by the sheriff, during the Dorner manhunt?”
I’d love for you to weigh in on the issue.
Let’s Talk Nerdy!
Should reporters have stopped live tweeting during the Dorner manhunt? What should media consider when these types of requests are made?